It all started with an email saying that a major recording artist was coming to Columbia, Missouri (my college town.. GO MIZZOU!) to do a concert and they were needing two cellists and 3 violinists to play for the concert. I saw the $300 paycheck (a lot for a days work for a poor college student) and I was sold. I sent in my pictures and I was approved. It turns out it was Kanye West. Its funny because at the time I had NO idea who he was. I called my best friend Jessica and told her I was going to be playing a concert for "Cain-yah" West. I still get a hard time from her to this day about that. How did I get that far and not know who he was, I have no idea... But that's the story of my life, ha!
So for those that know me (especially in my school age years) know I was a total nerd. 2005 was a time before facebook had status update options. I remember going through each person on my contact list and writing on their wall that I was going to be playing for his concert... yeah that's a little embarrassing. What can I say, I was pretty quirky but proud of it. In the words of my good friend Vanessa, "You're the weirdest person I know that I actually like!"
Anyway here are a few pics of my experience that day. I apologize for the major cheesing out I'm doing in
some all of the pictures...
cheesing out with my backstage pass and my cello...
Here we are doing some practicing during a rehearsing break. We weren't allowed to take the music home or get it a head of time so we had a long rehearsals in the morning and the afternoon then it was show time.
Fantasia Barrino, the winner of the third season of American Idol opened up for Mr. West.
Yep, that was me, member of the Kanye West band for a day... haha!
The concert was in the Mizzou Arena. It was actually a sold out show. We were in the longest screen box on the stage. The would shine lights in different ways on the boxes so sometimes you would see us, sometimes just our silhouettes, and then other times they would play videos on the screens.
Here is a picture of the inside of our box. My chair was the second from the right. At the beginning of the concert (right after the prayer...ha!) we went to our places and Kanye West sat right behind us until it was time for him to go on. I didn't get the nerve to turn around and say anything I had used all of that up to stand next to him in the group picture. I just remember my heart pounding out of my chest thinking "he is RIGHT behind me!" The harp player traveled with the tour along with the violinist who was the leader. She ran all our rehearsals and such (she sat on the far left).
I thought it would be really cool to take a picture from the view from my seat, but this is what I got. Jaw dropping, I know...
Here's the pic of the the group from Mizzou with Kanye. It kind of looks like I photo shopped myself in because of the shadow from the flash. But I promise I was there!
This cropped out photo gets the award for being my longest running profile pic on facebook. I was a little ecstatic (once I realized who he was).
So that's my one claim to fame. It has turned out to be a pretty cool thing to tell my students that gives me a little credibility right of the bat (in their minds). I like to use it as an example that learning classical music can open you up to a whole world of possibilities. There is no way I would have been able to play some of the songs in the key of c-flat major if I hadn't had the classical training. Thank you to my father for teaching my AP music theory class in High School! Moral of the story: keep practicing kids... and listen to what I tell you. Ha!